Image courtesy of Spencer Murphy, check out more of his work here.
In this episode I was joined by author, speaker, harmony advocate, and former Neo-Nazi skinhead, Frank Meeink. I came across Frank when I read his excellent memoir; Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead.
During his teens Frank was one of the most notorious and violent skinheads on the east coast of the US. His story is one of family dysfunction, inner city poverty, addiction, abandonment, abuse, suicide attempts, racism, violence and ultimately, thankfully, one man’s redemption.
While Frank was in jail on a kidnapping charge he became friends with a couple of black kids in the prison yard. Their shared love of sports, and girls, made them an unlikely trio. It was these prison friendships that first caused Frank to question his long-held sectarian beliefs. Having left the Skinhead movement (a violent exit of course) Frank descended into addiction at the same time as he ascended into speaking for America’s Anti Defamation League.
Frank’s work with the ADL exposed him to a world, and parts of himself, that he barely knew existed but Frank’s recovery from his Neo-Nazi past and addictions was painfully attritional rather than dramatic. South Philly isn’t Hollywood, even if Frank’s life is frequently touted as the inspiration for American History X.
Since then Frank has dedicated his life to the promotion of harmony rather than hate. Frank founded the Harmony Through Hockey programme and currently works with Life After Hate.
Enjoy the episode. Dave
Check out Frank's book here. Check out Frank's site here. Visit Life After Hate by clicking here. Wanna know more about Harmony Through Hockey? And leave Inspireland a rating on iTunes, only takes a sec. Peace.